Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Happy 2009!

Firstly I wish you all a very very happy New Year, full of fun and happiness and lovely things!

I've actually started to be excited about 2009, instead of merely terrified. It's the start of the rest of my life. That can be a good thing, not a dreadful occurance. I have the chance to start it consciously and right, and continue like that. So my new plan is to use this year to make the most of, well, everything. I can build my creative confidence in making videos, films, writing stories and scripts, all of which will help me get wherever it is I end up wanting to get. So that's my plan.

Love and joy and adventures to all for 2009 and beyond! xXx

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Wherefore art thou brain?

Why, oh why, is it always the case that the powers of normal conversation (not even smart, witty conversation... normal would do fine!) fail when you need them most? And, of course, they only return once the situation is well past and you've been left opening and closing your mouth like a goldfish. Then you're flooded with hundreds of the clever things you could and should have said.

*sighs*

Typical.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Another year...

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass
it's about learning to dance in the rain."
Author Unknown


As 2007 rolled into 2008, I was too ridiculously busy to be able to pause and contemplate the change and what it meant to me. By the time I had the chance to look around me, the year was already several weeks old, reasonably well-established, and had lost its new-born vitality. I sense the same thing beginning to happen this year so I'm doing my "end of the old/start of the new" thinking now, while I have a moment or two to breathe.

During this past 12 months I have been through big, big ups and big downs at uni. Fun and stress, often at the same time. I started my first real job as a temp, made sure I was kept on permanently after Christmas, then moved on to become senior sales 10 months later. I went to Paris, my first self-planned trip in several years. I survived the production workload of at least 4 people during the summer semester, and came out stronger and wiser instead of a broken wreck. And plenty more. It's been a busy year.

To tell the truth though, when I let myself think about it, next year scares the hell out of me. This last year was nothing in hecticness compared to what is coming. I will be graduating in the summer with no idea yet of what to do next. My calender can only help me up until June, then it is merely a stack of blank pages stretching on into eternity. I want big and wonderful things in my future, I want more than a daily 9-5 job that just about makes ends meet. Most of the people I tell that to act as if it's a nice, albeit slightly naive, view of the world and I'll soon learn that that's not how things work in real-life. I refuse to give up the idea that it can, and will, work for me... but a big part of me is terrified that they're right.

I don't seem to have worked out what I want from 2009. I think I'm going to go off and think about that awhile, maybe it'll make me panic less. Actually, scary as it may be, it is kind of exhilarating to know it's about to be time to do something with my life at last. If I shoot for the moon, at the very least I should land somewhere in the proper general direction, then I can continue from there... right?

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

A friend in need.

Firstly, an advance apology for the following cascade of sentimentality!

I know I only recently wrote a post about the importance and joy of friends, but I have an addition to make to it. In this past couple weeks, during my ups and downs of work and deadlines, I have been overwhelmed by the amazing loveliness of the people around me.

Since moving to the complete opposite side of London from everyone I know in order to be closer to uni, I sometimes complain that I'm isolated and am living all on my lonesome.. but during this time I haven't felt like that once. Every single time I had a problem, when I was stressed, when I wasn't sleeping, when I desperately needed to get some footage for my video, when I lost something I needed, and generally whenever things weren't going my way... someone stepped in to help me in big or little ways, and at the very least provide me with moral support and encouragement. I am indescribably touched and grateful to discover how many people, both friends and family, were willing to go out of their way to make life easier for me without me even having to ask.

Through all this I also learned something about myself. Not a good thing, but a good thing to learn so I can begin to erase it. Despite how much I pride myself on my understanding of people, I have a habit of judging unfairly. Some of the people who helped me over the past couple weeks, one in particuar without whom I would have had no work to hand in, are people I have not always been particularly fair to in the past.

Having so many people readily jump to my aid has made me feel very small. Grateful and loved and touched and many other wonderful things. But a lot more humble. It's been a pin in my over-inflated pride. However much I like to think so, I'm not actually better than everyone around me (but shush, that bit's a secret). And for every thing I am better at, someone else will have a handful of their own personal areas in which they exceed. This is fine and this is how the world works.

I want to thank, from the bottom of my heart, everyone who has helped me through this past month or so. I cannot begin to say how grateful I am, not only for the help that I was given but for discovering that I am blessed with so many wonderful friends. From now on I'm going to work on being as good a friend to my friends as my friends are to me.

Much love to all, xXx

Friday, 12 December 2008

All the little fishies...

It's amazing how you don't always fully realise how something has affected you until it's past. I woke up today feeling entirely lost. It's like I'd forgotten that life exists outside of work and uni and couldn't remember what I used to do in all that unscheduled time... All I could think of was that I needed to tidy my room and go food shopping, which I refused to let myself spend the day doing. Then for some reason I thought of the London Aquarium. I've walked past it plenty over the past two years and promised myself that one day I'll go inside, a promise I'd never actually fulfilled. Twenty minutes and a bowl of porridge later and I was out the door.

As I walked into the aquarium I realised again just how shell-shocked I've been left from the past couple months of hecticness. The instant I walked into the first tunnel my phone signal cut out and my first thought was panic. Focusing on the tanks around me was impossible because all I could think of was that I was cut off from the world, I should be doing something else, I shouldn't be there wasting time, what was I thinking being there on my own instead of being of some use somewhere.

I took some deep breaths, told myself to cut it out and relax dammit. I found some lovely watery classical music on my ipod and sat against the glass of the shark tank for ages, watching them swim serenely to and fro, and I felt myself calming down at last. After that I had a lovely visit and enjoyed myself greatly. Two and a half hours of strange and wonderful creatures and complete peace, knowing that no one could reach me or knew where I was, and that it didn't matter. It was truly my own time.

I picked my camera up this morning but forgot to put it in my bag, so I had to make pictures the old fashioned way instead. My pencil can't capture the velvet of the sharks' skin, but it was beautiful, so smooth and perfect. As of today I have a new found appreciation of these creatures.


Thursday, 11 December 2008

Me-time! (and a video camera)

I'm on strike! So so happy.

My deadlines were all today and I handed everything in this evening. The thud as my work hits the bottom of the box is the most wonderful sound in the universe (unlike the loud, slightly drunk singing and cackling coming from the downstairs neighbours as I type...) and the instant I hear it, a load lifts from my shoulders.

My time is mine again! Well, for tomorrow it is. I'm working on Saturday and Sunday of course. But tonight I get to kick back and watch some cheesy movie, and tomorrow I am not going into work, even if they call, and intend instead to spoil myself and make the most of my first precious day off. Ah joy!

Oh, and in other news! My dad dropped back into the country again the other day. This evening I saw him very briefly and he gave me his old video camera. He's upgraded to a harddrive video camera to avoid having to carry so many tapes round the world with him, and so he's given me his MiniDV cam. I'm finally a filmmaker with an actual camera! Next step is to get a computer that can actually edit... but for the time being I can use the uni computers to play with my own projects. I'm all excited. I can make videos that aren't assignments! Eee, the possibilities...

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

The Last Knit


I've been exploring my old favorites on youtube, and here's another little treasure for you. A beautifully made video that shows how knitting gets to you and never lets go! Very funny and, as both a knitter and a crocheter, scarily easy to relate to....

Monday, 8 December 2008

My pen.

I got me a new pen! It's a Lamy Linea fountain pen and I love it. I haven't had a nice fountain pen since I was about 14 so I decided it was about time I treat myself. I am very fussy about my pens, they have to be just so and this is the first one I've found since my last poor pen broke that feels like a real replacement.

I am going to get the nib changed to be a fine nib instead of the medium one that comes as standard. It also comes with a converter to allow me to use any bottle of ink I choose, so I'm going to go ink shopping and find some lovely colours to play with. Fun fun.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

A little touch of clothing magic



I've just rediscovered this video. The first time I found it and mastered the technique, it had me emptying my tshirt drawer just to be able to refold it all "properly". There are step-by-step tutorials peppered across youtube now if you want to learn the easy way, rather than by watching this one over and over again, but this is the original and still my favorite.

Also, folding tshirts in 2 seconds flat makes for some lovely stunned expressions, if you ever have reason to casually fold tshirts in front of people :op

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Dreamworlds

Do you ever feel like there's huge world laid out and running itself inside your dreams? I sometimes wonder about the depth of detail and the seemingly random jumble of things assembling into something that makes perfect sense, until you wake up.

While most people seem to have reoccurring dreams, what I get are reoccurring locations. The same places pop up over and over again in completely unconnected dreams. Sometimes the people in the places remember me, even if I don't remember them, and sometimes even if I haven't been there before.

There's the most incredible shopping mall I've been in a couple times. It defies the laws of physics and has a glass-walled bookstore that goes on forever and has giant slides to get around... And there's the supermarket with the Star Trek style holodeck that had a wedding held in its big staff lift one night a few weeks ago. Or the old dusty bookshop I don't remember visiting. Despite the staff's insistence I wouldn't believe I had been there before, until they showed me my name signed on the cover of a magazine.

Last night I was in a park that I just knew. I knew that there were fountains just round the corner, I knew where the deepest parts of the stream were, the layout of the trees, the way the daisies were sprinkled across the grass, and where not to go because the kids are usually too rowdy. This time though, there was a palace there. An actual royal palace, but with sunbathers on the lawn. A fleet of helicopters flew down and the Queen arrived. I went inside and met her, she was most gracious, then Stephen Fry carried my suitcase in for me, it was huge and heavy and I felt guilty for packing so much to go to the park. Then my alarm went off and woke me up.

I like dreams.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Diluted, dispersed, run dry.

I feel spread as thin as Marmite scraped across toast.

I have deadlines coming out of my ears, work is calling me every day to ask me to do yet more overtime I can't handle but can't afford to turn down, and the mess in my room is piling up to the ceiling because I can't find any free moments to spend tidying rather than extravagent things like, I don't know, getting a night's sleep.

I blink and another day is gone. I can't remember the last time I was home with my family for more than a night, and friends are texting to check I'm still alive. I'd swear it's only been a day or so since all this started, but news is starting to filter back to me about things I should not only have realised were happening, but should have been there for.

I feel like I've ceased to exist, like I'm so diluted by everything going on that I end up being useless in any situation I'm in. Running on automatic, barely conscious. I'm stressed at uni, tired at work, snappy and spacey with my friends - if I manage to make contact at all...

Another week until deadlines are over. After that I can breathe. I'll make sure of it... I can refuse extra overtime until I have caught up with myself, and with the precious people I've pushed away. Whatever it takes.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Buttons

A year and a halfish ago I began noticing buttons on the pavement as I walked through London. At first I just glanced at them as I bustled past, then for some reason I began picking them up...

Cut to the present, and my collection is over 150 buttons big (I lose count fast), spans five countries and has outgrown several storage containers. I'm teased about my collection by my friends, who have had to get used to the fact that I'll suddenly vanish from sight while we're walking and pop back into vision seconds later holding a button, but some of them are starting to spot them as well and I have 5 donated found buttons which take pride of placement in my jar.

I like my buttons because they're an example of the little things that no one usually notices or, I guess, would normally care about.. I love the fact I have a collection that has naturally and effortlessly found me, but gives me the self-satisfaction that comes with knowing that, even when you're not actually looking for them (which I'm usually not), I'm able to spot a transparent plastic button on a white marble floor, or a tiny black button between two pavement slabs, or a metal button embedded in the soil by the side of a road.

This weekend I found 8 buttons, and another today, so I'm happy. I'll leave you with this weekend's finds:

Alive.

I slept last night, at last, and I've woken up feeling less murderous... always a good thing.

Now I have to rescue the video I was supposed to film today, but which fell apart along with me last night. If all goes according to the new plan, I'll be able to film tomorrow instead and begin editing.... *crosses fingers and touches wood*